Looking for a FUN Friday Night?

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Will today finally feel like FALL?

When the first cool and crisp air blows in, I always feel like cooking.  It’s the signal to my brain that the holidays, are just around the corner. Old recipes feel new again and I am invigorated to be in the kitchen.

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I am welcoming fall with a nod to my precious time spent in Lake Como AND a first time ever, Friday Night Dinner Party on October 25th from 7:00-9:00.

With only 12 SEATS at the table, this will be a truly special evening of amazing food and FUN. Perfect for date night or night out just for YOU! 

A quick demonstration style cooking lesson and then I will cook and serve YOU!

ON THE MENU:

Grapefruit Rosemary Sparkler Cocktail.

Appetizers: Spicy Shrimp with Basil and Focaccia with Caramelized Onions and Fennel

Salad Course: Grilled Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

Main Course: Menaggio Pork Loin served with Fontina Mac and Cheese and Assorted Roasted and Picked Vegetables– served family style

Dessert: Chocolate Lava Cake with Vanilla Tuaca Gelato $79.00

To register, email me lorie@atasteofparis.net or CLICK HERE

Huge wheel of Parmesan Cheese

Fall and Holiday classes are booking fast, to see the complete list CLICK HERE

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Eating in Paris

Pain chocolate croissant

For me, eating in Paris is a magical experience.

Without fail, I start my day with my favorite bite, pain chocolate.

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I will be in France when this post drops; thank goodness because my cravings for these little gems has been intense!  I don’t worry about calories while I’m there.  I eat what I want within reason and I walk…all day.

baguette sandwhich

For lunch I usually try and find something on the run.  This can be hard to do in a country whose culture supports sitting for meals for roughly 2 hours at a time.

Ham and Cheese crepe.

Usually I grab a prepared sandwich at a boulangerie or a savory crepe eat as I go, very American!

The chocolate counter at La maison du Chocolat.

In the afternoon, I almost always make a stop for a bite at one of my favorite chocolatiers!

Chicken and vegetable in a copper pot.

For dinner, I usually sit and almost always order some version of roasted chicken or fish with vegetables.

Fish with potatoes and vegetables

Ratatouille is my favorite and I get very excited when I find it on the menu.  Full disclosure, fish is rarely served like in this photo.  It’s almost always brought to the table whole; head on!

Lorie at a French bistro in paris.

Want to eat and cook your way through Paris with me?  Registration for travel for 2021 is OPEN!!

A Taste of Paris April 12-18th

Want to just spend A Day in Paris, Cooking?  Join me for:

A Day in France- Bistronomy Friday, November 1st 10:00-2:30 French bistros have changed over the years, many combining the classics along with gastronomic dishes all at affordable prices.  Bringing an haute cuisine experience to the masses, this movement, now decades in the making is called Bistromomy and will be the inspiration for our class. We will enjoy crafting a French Blonde Cocktail, wine with the meal as well as a cheese course. For Petit Dejeuner, I will demonstrate Pain Chocolate, always my favorite, served with Homemade Yogurt and Fresh Fruit Compote and honey.  Le Dejeuner will be comprised of a beautiful Savory Tart and Beet and Goat Cheese Mousse Salad a la Ritz, Paris.  For diner, 2 dishes; sensational Salmon over Hash wildly elegant and Polenta Ratatouille, both will have your taste buds on high and served with Gougeres Swans! Dessert will be a bouquet of Roses, a stunning apple tart AND from Stohrer in Paris, chocolate Cake Stuffed with Cream and more chocolate! Tuition $89.00 Register HERE or by email to lorie@atasteofparis.net

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Roasted chicken at Bistro 31

A Favorite- Bistro 31

Up the stairs to the bar at Bistro 31.

Do you have a place that no matter how many times you go; you ALWAYS have a fantastic time?

That’s how it is for me with Bistro 31 at Highland Park Village.

Coctails at Bistro 31

It all started about 6 years ago when Mark and I had date night here.  We went to the upstairs bar, (hidden at the time) and ordered a bottle of champagne!  What an absolute luxury!  We had an amazing night and Bistro 31 became one of my favorites.

Glass of champagne in the stairwell.

There are so many things to love about this place.

For starters, it is just fun to get “off campus” and do a little people watching.

Patio tabels at Bistro 31.

The restaurant is intimate with a smallish main building and a greenhouse structure with a movable wall.  When the weather is nice, they leave it open so you get an al fresco dining experience.

The cocktails are fabulous, they have a superb wine list and the food is always scrumptious.

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 Mark always gets the steak and frites but there is something for everyone; seafood, pasta and specials including a chef featured risotto of the day.

 The furnishings are cool and comfortable, upholstered booths and chairs at the tables by the windows.

Burata salad Bistro 31

On this visit I had the Burrata Salad and the Roasted Chicken.

Roasted chicken at Bistro 31

Such a lovely evening!

Lorie at Bistro 31

Bistro 31 was the site for lunch at the ATOP summer event; A Day of Dior.

I hope you will be inspired to give Bistro 31 a try soon, and let me know how you like it!

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Heavenly Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies

Double chocolate pecan cookies on a marble board.

Sometimes a girl just needs a nice hit of chocolate.  Next time that happens to you, try this recipe!

If you enjoy my blog, please share it with friends and family that might enjoy it too!

Double chocolate pecan cookies on a marble board.

Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

1 cup dark cocoa

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using an electric mixer cream together butter and sugar until it is pale and fluffy.  Add eggs 1 at a time, add vanilla then cocoa and mix well to combine.  Add salt, leavening and flour and mix just until incorporated.  Stir in, chocolate chips and pecans.  Drop cookies by tablespoons on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

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Artichoke Cheese Bake

Artichoke Cheese Bake

Artichoke Cheese Bake

Need a simple go-to appetizer?  My Artichoke Cheese Bake never disappoints a crowd.

Artichoke Cheese Bake before it goes into the oven.

It really is so simple to make, just mix the ingredients, put it in a baking dish and pop it in the oven.  Really people go crazy for this stuff!  Try it the next time someone asks you to bring an appetizer to a party!

For more fantastic appetizer recipes, consider joining me for an upcoming class, Ultimate Appetizers on  November 14th, just in time for holiday party inspiration!

Artichoke Cheese Bake.

Artichoke Cheese Soufflé Bake

2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese

1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup of mayonnaise

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 cup chopped frozen artichoke hearts

1 red pepper chopped

Dash cayenne

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese, mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese for 2-3 minutes.  Fold in vegetables, garlic and cayenne.  Pour mixture into a deep baking dish and bake 25-30 minutes, until brown and bubbly.  Serve with crackers or French bread.

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One of the Sweetest Provencal Towns

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L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is without a doubt one of the sweetest towns I have ever visited.  It’s an idyllic small community that is surrounded by the Sorgue River.

water wheels in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

The Sorgue has 14 remaining water wheels making use of the power of running water.  These wheels were originally used to power mills; first corn then wool and silk mills.  The moss-covered paddles pushing the babbling water, add real charm to the riverside.

market day in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.

Sunday is market day in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.

Fresh foods at the L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue market.

Shoppers can find vegetables and other food items.

Paella in the L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue market

Prepared foods abound, like this enormous copper pan filled to the brim with paella.

This market usually has a nice assortment of brocante for shoppers seeking treasures. Arrive early, by 8:00 as vendors start to pack up by noon.

baskets and pails in the L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue market.

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is an antique town and shops are open on Sundays.  A little known fact; walk down the alleys past the antique stores and you will find many of the back-doors of the establishments open creating a maze of tiny booths and tables of goodies.  If you are an antique lover, this comes highly recommended.

I found several sets of linens here that are absolute treasures.

Open window in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

I am still wondering what is behind this charming open window covered with ivy in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue…

Want to visit L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and many other Provencal villages in 2021?  REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

PROVENCE
September 11th-18th, 2021

Provence – where sparkling seascapes, fiery sunsets, and the striking variety of scenery make visitors feel as though they are stepping into a French Impressionist painting. Sun-soaked flavors and a convivial spirit flourish in this region. Our magnificent base for this food and wine centric trip of a lifetime is Saint-Rémy-READ MORE  

Dinner Boards

 

Lorie holding antique board from Turkey.

I am into wooden boards!

Of all shapes and sizes!  These are a few of my favorites.  The board I am holding is an antique Turkish bread board, and it’s old!  You can see that the wood split and copper was hammered in place to hold it together and restore it for good use.  Below that is a striped board that Mark and Brandon made me many years ago that is a treasure and staple in my kitchen.  And just beneath that, is a prized large olive wood board that I hauled back from Provence and trust me, it barely fit in  my suitcase!

Artichoke and red Pepper Quiche on a wooden board.

I NEVER cut on these boards!

Instead, I like to use them for serving.  Here I am using it as a trivet for a hot dish of Artichoke and Red Pepper Quiche.

Chicken Cesar Salad on a wooden board.

What about the idea of serving an entire meal on the board?  This is my olive wood board, piled high with a fresh crispy Chicken Caesar Salad, ready to be served right from the board.

Sausage, beans and slaw on a wooden board.

Talk about a quick dinner, Sausage warmed along with Baked Beans and Confetti Slaw.

Who’s hungry?

If you are board with dinner, try using your wooden boards to serve!

Tune into Fox 4 for a segment featuring ME and more Dinner Boards on Tuesday, October 14th!!

Chicken Caesar Salad on a Board

Dressing

1 cup mayo

3 cloves of garlic

1-ounce anchovy paste

¼ cup milk or half and half

1/3 cup grated Parmesan

2 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Salad

2 grilled chicken breasts cut into chunks

2 heads Romaine lettuce

½ cup of halved tomatoes

Parmesan cheese shards

Toasts

½ small French bread loaf sliced paper thin

¼ cup olive oil

2 cloves of garlic crushed

To prepare the toasts, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix olive oil and garlic in a small bowl.  Dot both sides of the bread with a small amount of the oil mixture using a pastry brush.  Spread the bread on a baking pan.  Bake toast until golden brown about 4 minutes, turn toasts and cook another 3-4 minutes to brown the other side. Meanwhile, prepare dressing by adding all ingredients in food processor or blender, process to combine well.  Add additional milk if a thinner dressing is desired.  To prepare the salad cut root of each lettuce head off and let water run through to clean the leaves.  Keeping the bundles intact slice heads into thin strips and place the lettuce in the center of the serving board.  Add chicken, tomatoes and toasts and toss along with a generous amount of dressing.  Top with Parmesan shards and serve.

Confetti Slaw.

Confetti Veggie Slaw

2 carrots shredded

1 green bell pepper cut in a julienne

1 red bell pepper cut in a julienne

2 cups of shredded purple cabbage

2 green onions finely diced

Dressing

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

To prepare dressing, whisk together ingredients in a small bowl.  Assemble slaw in serving bowl by layering ingredients.  Add dressing, toss to coat.  Let salad stand for a few minutes before serving.

Baked Beans

Baked Beans

2 16-ounce cans of baked beans any brand

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup ketchup

¼ cup yellow mustard

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch salt

Mix all ingredients in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.  Bake for 25 minutes or until center is bubbling.

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Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis

Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis (2)

Have you ever made panna cotta?  It really is delicious!

Panna cotta is a lot like creme brulee only not quite as rich.  Gelatin is used to thicken the milk and cream mixture rather than egg yolks and it is generally topped with berries.

Making Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis is a great way to eek the last bit of flavor from summer berries.  Make it today, you will be glad you did!

Raspberry Coulis topped panna cotta.

Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis

1 envelop plain gelatin

2 tablespoons water

1 ½ cups heavy cream

1 ½ cup whole milk

1/3 cup sugar

Seeds from one vanilla pod

In a small sauce pan add water to gelatin.  Let it bloom about 2 minutes.  Next turn the burner on to low and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.  Meanwhile, heat the milk and cream and sugar together in a large saucepan over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture begins to boil.  Remove from heat, add gelatin and vanilla and stir well.  Pour mixture into 4- 6-ounce ramekins.  Cover with plastic wrap and let chill before topping with Raspberry Coulis.

Raspberry Coulis

10 ounces fresh raspberries

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan heat berries with sugar and lemon for about 8 minutes.  Pour berry mixture into a blender and process.  Strain mixture to remove raspberry seeds.  Store coulis in refrigerator until needed.

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Pretty Cakes

All white cupcakes.

You may have heard that my daughter, Brooke is engaged!

A few weeks back we hosted a little get-together for her finance’s family and their wedding party.

Close up of pretty cakes.

I made the cutest little cupcakes for the event and I wanted to share them with YOU!

Brookes favorite cake is Chocolate with White Butter Cream, recipe below, so I made a batch.

Frosted chocolate cupcakes.

I iced the cupcakes by putting the frosting in a zip-top bag, I snipped the tip and pipped the frosting in swirl pattern.

Supplies for decorating pretty cakes.

I bought the cutest edible paper flowers, gold star sprinkles and large drugeries to decorate the tops.

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It was so much fun!

I got out my food stylist tweezers to help me place the drugeries, large edible pearls, exactly where I wanted them.  You could definitely use a standard pair of tweezers for this task!

Tiered stand with cupcakes and goodies.

I arranged the cupcakes and a very large tiered stand that sits on my center island.

To complete the assortment of goodies, there were vanilla and pistachio macarons and a biscuit barrel full of decadent dark chocolate bon-bons.

With a few flowers it looked amazing!

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Next time you need a yummy sweet treat, my Chocolate Cupcakes with Butter Cream Frosting are hard to beat!

Brooke and I.

Chocolate Cupcakes

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1/3 cup extra dark coco

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup butter

1 cup water

2 eggs

½ cup buttermilk

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 24-place cupcake pan with paper liners.  In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt and set aside.  In a small sauce pan set to medium, heat water, coco and butter until the butter melts.  Add warmed liquid to flour mixture and stir till combined.    Add first buttermilk then eggs and stir well.  Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 19-21 minutes.  Let cool completely before frosting.

Butter Cream Frosting

1½ sticks butter at room temperature

6 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract

Milk or heavy cream

Using an electric mixer, combine butter, sugar, extracts and several teaspoons of milk on low speed and beat, add milk as needed to get the proper consistency for spreading.  Mix on high speed for 5-7 minutes to create a fluffy frosting.  Do not leave the mixer unattended.

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Cheers to “Cooking Season” and Irresistible Greek Layered Dip

cooking class toasting

I can’t think of a better way to spend a few hours than making great food with YOU GUYS!

There are so many fabulous cooking classes this fall, how will you choose?

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Classes are filling fast so take a look and make your plans for “cooking season” and tons of great friends and good times, with me!

Group of students at Gifts from the kitchen class

Some classes are already sold out so register TODAY HERE or by email to lorie@atasteofparis.net

Friday, August 30th 10:30-2:00 Pasta Pop-UP!-1 seat just opened for this SOLD OUT class Let’s make homemade pasta!  After working with Italian chefs in the Lake Como region, Lorie is ready to share all the secrets and fresh dishes she learned with YOU! We will make a snack of Sundried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese dip for fresh Crudité and we’ll toast the generous spirit of the Italians with Prosecco READ MORE

October 10-11th French 2-Day Flavors and Inspiration from Burgundy France 10:30-2:30- 2 SEATS OPEN Join me for a truly unique culinary event as we travel to Burgundy for some of the most delectable food on earth.  Slow cooked dishes eking all of the flavor from food, Dijon mustard and delectable cheese abound in the Burgundy READ MORE

Friday, October 25th 7:00-9:00 POP-UP Dinner Fall Party  Join me for the first time ever for a Fall Dinner Party.  We will have a cooking lesson while enjoying appetizers and a Grapefruit Rosemary Sparkler Cocktail.  Relish a gorgeous tablescape set for fall.   Feast on a 4-course meal inspired by my trip to Lake Como this spring, READ MORE

Friday, November 1st 10:00-2:30 A Day in France- Bistronomy Join me for a fabulous class- a day in France.  French bistros have changed over the years, many combining the classics along with gastronomic dishes all at affordable prices.  Bringing an haute cuisine experience to the masses, this movement, now decades in the making is called Bistromomy and will be the inspiration for our class. We will enjoy crafting READ MORE

Friday, November 8th 11:00-1:30 The Thanksgiving Table-Looking for inspiration for the most talked about meal of the year?  Join me for a class that will inspire you to explore traditional flavors in fresh new recipes.  While we get our feast together, we will sip Peartinis, my most requested cocktail, and snack on a wonderful TG app, Rosemary Raspberry Pistachio Brie. Of course, the turkey is always the star of READ MORE

Thursday, November 14th 6:30-8:30 Ultimate Appetizers-Holiday Entertaining Come to a cooking class that’s like throwing a party without the work!  Join me in the kitchen to concoct crave able appetizers that look more complicated than they are.  Enjoy my fabulous fall Apple Pear Rosemary Martini while we prepare an appetizer feast.  Join in the action or just sit back and watch the show!  We will get the party started with unbeatable Salmon Tacos with Crispy Slaw and spicy Aoli Sauce.  Next up, READ MORE

FRIDAY, November 22nd 6:30-9:30 A Taste of Paris presents- France comes to McKinney, Burgundy Wine Tasting Experience. Chateau Pommard, one of the most prestigious wine houses in Burgundy will be coming to McKinney Texas for a very special evening of wine tasting with A Taste of Paris guests.  As a participant you will taste 6 luxurious Burgundy wines and relish premium composed appetizers READ MORE

Thursday, December 5th 6:30-9:00 AND Friday, December 6th 11:00-1:30 15th Annual Gifts from the Kitchen-FILLING FAST! Back by popular demand this fun and festive class will take you through an array of goodies perfect for gift giving from your own kitchen, fabulous ideas to gift neighbor’s, coworkers or hostess.  Each recipe will be made and tasted and all while sipping delightful Citrus Crush Cocktails.  Creative packaging techniques will be taught for each recipe so your gifts will dazzle…so fun! Most of the work will be done so you can sit back and soak up the spirit READ MORE

Friday December 13th 11:00-2:00 Holiday Luncheon Join me for the first time ever for a Holiday Luncheon.  We will have a cooking lesson while enjoying appetizers and a Pomegranate Martini.  Next, we will sit for Lunch, at a lovely table scapped with the spirit of the season. Relish a 4- course meal prepared and served by ME! READ MORE

Register now by clicking HERE or by email to lorie@atasteofparis.net

Lorie with a dish of Greek layered dip

7 Layer Greek Dip

1 recipe Basil Hummus

2 recipes Pita Chips

4 ounces feta cheese crumbled

1 large cucumber peeled and diced

1 clove garlic

1 5-ounce container plain Greek yogurt

¼ teaspoon dried dill

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

½ cup diced red onion

1 jar roasted red peppers diced

1 cup assorted sliced olives

In an 8-inch glass dish spread hummus as the first layer of the dip.  In a small bowl mix cucumbers with yogurt, garlic, dill and parsley and mix well, gently spread this as the second layer.  Sprinkle on tomatoes, then peppers, onions then olives.  Sprinkle the last layer of feta cheese and serve with pita chips.

Basil Hummus

1 15-ounce can chickpeas drained and washed

1/3 cup fresh basil packed

2 cloves garlic

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup tahini paste

2 tablespoons olive oil

Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until creamy.  Serve with pita chips.

Pita Chips

1 package of pita bread cut into wedges

¼ cup olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush bread with a small amount of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and arrange on baking sheet in single layer.  Bake until chips are crispy.  Flip over and bake until other side is crispy.

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